"18/05/2009 US President Barack Obama hopes to persuade several Arab countries considered moderate to take "small but symbolic" steps described as "confidence-building measures" in order to "build up a sense of momentum" towards peace, the Washington Post reported Sunday.
The Arab states being singled out in the hope that they would be the first to take such measures are Morocco, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.
According to this report, the Obama administration is trying to coax these countries to open direct telephone connections to Israel and allow Israeli commercial aircraft to overfly over their territory, in addition to other symbolic steps. While Israelis can dial from Israel to any country, phone calls placed to Israel from most Arab countries are blocked.
The Post says that at this point, the U.S. administration's requests for confidence-building measures are aimed at the Arab states and not at Israel......."